Smart Policies for Harnessing AI

The global reach of AI requires a global approach. The OECD is engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on AI with its member countries and beyond, representatives of business, the technical community, labour and civil society and other international organisations. A key outcome of these discussions is the creation of an OECD expert group on artificial intelligence.

Few technologies evoke responses as strong as artificial intelligence. Many people instinctively fear machines taking their jobs. Others see changes that help workers expand existing skills and open doors to amazing advances in fields like medicine, education and the environment.

Technology always brings disruption, some larger than others

AI is likely to have a large impact: it is spreading rapidly and by its nature will affect every sector in the economy as well as society more broadly. Its impact raises big questions for government, business, science and the public as we try to minimise the risks and maximise the opportunities.

One of those big questions is the impact of AI on the workplace. People who are at a high-risk of losing their jobs to automation in the coming years represent are estimated at 14% of the workforce across the OECD countries, with another 32% of the workforce seeing substantial change in how their jobs are carried out. Another question is how AI can improve government services, promote general well-being and narrow the gulf between the world’s haves and the have-nots. Finally, as AI’s ubiquity increases, there is the pressing matter of how to protect privacy and autonomy, and ensure awareness, transparency, safety and accountability.

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